Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

What Do You Do with Outcomes?—Hiring

Outcomes hiring

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

In our previous blogs in this series, we’ve discussed what to do with outcomes. Namely,

  • Train people to produce them with the right skills and knowledge
  • Equip people to produce them by providing the right tools, processes, and information

In this post, we’ll address the question of how to use the outcomes determined in a TOPS analysis to hire the right people.

Hiring is one of the most challenging parts of any leader’s job. The process itself is both time consuming and expensive (many organizations use a rule of thumb that the cost of hiring one person is equal to that person’s annual salary). Even more expensive is the cost to the organization of hiring the wrong person.

When hiring people, determining whether you have the right person for the job at hand is generally very difficult. Some factors are reasonably straightforward to determine:

  • Is the person a good cultural fit for the organization?
  • Does the person have the requisite experience to make him or her eligible for the position?
  • Does the person seem to have the desire and motivation to succeed?

But those don’t address the question that should be central to the hiring process: is there any evidence the person will succeed in the proposed role?


In our opinion, that question is so often ignored because the role is rarely understood sufficiently to enable you to draw any conclusions. But the outcomes determined in a TOPS analysis change all that.

With the list of critical outcomes needed to succeed, you can now ask two critical questions:

  • Have you demonstrated an ability to produce each of these outcomes in a previous role?
  • If not, how would you approach producing each of these outcomes?

By having a specific set of outcomes as the basis for the interview, you can now evaluate the candidates on their previous experiences related to each outcome. When candidates have no such previous experience, then probing for how they would set about producing the outcomes allows you to evaluate their potential to succeed. Using the combination of those two critical questions changes the entire candidate selection process from one of hopeful trepidation to one of cautious confidence.


Question to ponder:

  • How confident are you that you are selecting the right people for your critical roles?




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